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Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Booker T. Washington National Monument

So often, we tend to ignore treasures in our own backyard when we think of things to do. We feel like we need to go further afield to really do something fun. Well, I just want to take a few minutes here and let you know about a treasure here in our backyard.

On 122 South, past Smith Mountain Lake and Halesford Bridge you will find Booker T. Washington National Monument. Booker T. Washington was an interesting individual who left behind quite a legacy. This monument is located where he lived until he was 9 years old when he learned that he was no longer a slave.

The park is nice. There are lovely trails, a small gift shop, a film you can watch, and reconstructions of buildings from the time. You get to see the conditions Booker lived in as a child and you can get some idea of what the farm might have been laid out like. If you have a group of 10 or more children, there are some tours you can call and schedule. There is no cost for any of this. No parking cost, no tour cost, nothing.

Today we went to with approximately 25 homeschooled children and their parents. We took too tours simultaneously (one for small children ages 4-7 and one for older children in grades 5-7.) The tours were full of information and the kids actually were listening. The rangers did a great job! How do I know they were listening? Because later my 5 year old daughter was able to repeat many of the things Betsy, our tour guide, told us.

After the tour, we enjoyed the picnic area (picnic tables under colorful oak trees). Then the children enjoyed just playing on this spacious farm. They visited the animals, played hide and seek, played tag and just lolled about in the grass.

Just about every weekend, there is some activity at Booker T. Washington National Monument, and we try to list it here. So, go visit. We have been 4 or 5 times in the last couple of years. And we always enjoy our time there!


At 12:34 AM, Anonymous King Size said...

That is one place I have never been, I will have to take a trip there soon, and maybe Ann Spencer's home also.

At 8:47 AM, Blogger Melissa O. Markham said...

It is a delightful place to visit. Very peaceful and relaxing. I have never been to Ann Spencer's home either.

At 11:31 PM, Anonymous Gravy Beard said...

The kids must have had a great time! If you do find the time go to the Ann Spencer house King Size and you too MOM, it's pretty cool...


At 8:17 AM, Blogger Melissa O. Markham said...

Thanks for the suggestion, Gravy Beard. You know how it is, the treasures in our backyard, often go unnoticed!


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